It's no secret that the WWE has had some gimmicks in the past that were racially insensitive, sometimes involving Mexican wrestlers. As a guest on the Keeping It 100 with Konnan podcast, Alberto El Patron discussed prejudices against Mexican wrestlers.
The WWE has promoted the controversial Mexicools stable, Eddie Guerrero's trademark "lie, cheat, steal" saying, and Chavo Guerrero's Kerwin White gimmick. El Patron said he wasn't aware of the existence of those prejudicial gimmicks prior to joining the WWE.
"I didn't know anything about it because I would be lying if I said that I was always a fan of WWE, or that my dream was to always be in WWE because it wasn't," El Patron said. "I always wanted to wrestle in El Toro where my dad and uncle worked, a huge place where they mostly held Bullfighting events, that was my dream. We didn't even get WWE in Mexico or WCW when we were growing up. Of course I knew who Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, or Macho Man were because they were wrestling against my dad and uncle in Japan, so that was how I knew who they were, but I was never a fan of WWE and knew nothing about [prejudices] when they hired me."
El Patron learned about those gimmicks over time. He said he was thankful that he never was subjected to something like that, and he credited Johnny Ace with allowing him to not be a stereotypical Mexican wrestler.
"When they put me on the main roster, yes, over time people would come up to me and tell me all the things that had just been mentioned [prejudices in WWE], of course I felt blessed to not be put in that situation," he said. "Everything happened for me because of Johnny Ace, who was supporting and helping me through my entire career. Even until the end, he was the one coming up to me and talking to me as a friend, and as you know, it is very difficult to find someone in Stamford to talk to you as a friend face to face with no b.s."
El Patron also discussed the first time he was fired from the WWE in August 2014. The company let him go due to "unprofessional conduct" after El Patron confronted and slapped an employee who allegedly made a racist joke. El Patron said he was caught off-guard because he thinks the wrong person was being fired. He admitted that he was emotional when Triple H gave him the news.
"WWE actually said that everything was going to be fine. They said that they know and understand that he crossed the line, but they did tell me that I know that I needed to control my temper. My response was that it is just not easy to do that. It is easier said than done, especially when you have a guy who isn't bringing any money in by taking any bumps, or sweating and bleeding for this company, he's just a Social Media guy and comes to disrespect me and my family; disrespect my culture at the place where I was born," El Patron said. "I'm not saying that I am the toughest guy or anything like that, but everyone knows that I can go, and dit was a known fact within the company that I am a respectful person, and that I respect everyone. I just don't know why this guy thought he can make such a stupid comment where he said that this is why we have Mexicans to clean the plates, and I thought, what? Everyone knows that when I talked to the important people in the company they told me that everything was going to be fine, just go and shake hands.
"Several days later Triple H called me and said that they had to let me go," he continued. "I was shocked. He made fun of me and disrespected me yet I'm the one being fired? He responded by saying that he understood, but that they will call me later, just lay low for a while. I said that if you let me go right now I am going to go work somewhere else, and he stated that if I did that then I may lose the possibility to come back to WWE, and then I said that if that was the case then so be it. I ended up putting the phone down. It was a rough day where I was even crying."
At a crossroads in his career, El Patron was understandably concerned about his future. But it wasn't long until he received offers from other promotions and he was able to bounce back.
"I had no idea what was going to happen. I looked up into the sky and asked God to please show me the way, and during that period he did. Few hours later Rey Mysterio called me and stated that this individual from Mexico was going to call me, who was working with Konnan at the time and that they have an interesting offer for me," he said. "I was surprised to hear the amount of money they were offering me to work in Mexico. I had no idea they would offer that high amount of money in Mexico. I couldn't believe it at first, but afterwards the rest is history. I did fantastic with AAA when we worked together and with Lucha Underground."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Keeping It 100 with Konnan with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Keeping It 100 with Konnan
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.